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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3637 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

you said that 95 per cent of the kids thought it was a good idea, quite a few of them seemed to think it would not work for them.

Mrs Cross: Did you get those statistics from the council?

MS TUCKER: Yes, off the web page-so it is from the council. An evaluation occurred there. I am interested to know how that has been used to inform what you are proposing and, if the evaluation was made by the kids, whether perhaps it has not translated into a different contract, or another contract.

That is why it is really important that, with any of these ideas, you talk to the young people, to see what the issues are for them so you can elaborate, change or give different options for this sort of contract so it works for different groups of kids. That is why I support Ms Gallagher's amendment to consult with the minister's youth council on this. I am interested in knowing more about the evaluation that came out of Warringah Council.

MRS BURKE (4.35): I will speak to the motion as a whole. I was not going to say anything but I have been listening to the debate. I was interested, once I opened the website, to have a look at what was happening in Warringah. It strikes me that communication is a crucial element in that.

We all want positive outcomes for young people in our community and, in particular, positive outcomes where parents, guardians or carers are involved. I believe that is a crucial element in the development of young people, so they are not left to flounder on their own, but have support networks. Those networks would consist mostly of their parents.

The idea of a trial similar to the out of harm's way agreement seems a positive one. I congratulate Mrs Cross for putting the motion on the notice paper today. In fact, any program that nurtures and fosters young people talking more with their parents or guardians is positive. I think we would all agree that young people are presented with a very different set of challenges in society today than most of us in this place, when we were girls and boys.

It is not about a one-size-fits-all approach. As with many issues we face today, we must look at a raft of options that will fit the circumstances and needs of the people seeking help. Involving our young people is fundamental to the success of this. I am sure Mrs Cross will look to take on board all the suggestions from speakers so far. We know that communication is the key to any relationship. Young people often bottle things up, and feel that they do not want to talk to people-least of all, to their parents.

I commend this motion. This is a move that must occur in society today. Young people must be encouraged to speak to their parents, rather than run from them. However angry they may seem with the child, parents are the ones who generally have unconditional love for that child.

It is worth while to look at other models in existence. I don't know if Mrs Cross has seen this, but I was taken with the website of the New South Wales Commission for Children and Young People-I refer to the Arcade. They offer an interactive website to help

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